Virginia Living Museum – Newport News, Virginia


What is it?  Part zoo, part children’s museum, part educational museum, part aquarium.  The Virginia Living Museum is possibly one of the best museums I have been to in a long time.  It is educational and kid-friendly but at the same time it will captivate adults for hours as well.  The building is set up so that you walk through different Virginia habitats.  In each gallery, you will see exhibits that showcase the animal and plant life from each habitat. 


I have an ASTC Membership card so the visit was free, which definitely makes the deal even sweeter!  We went to the Virginia Living Museum with the intention of spending an hour or two and then heading to the next activity but we ended up spending hours wandering around inside and out and then back inside again!

There are interactive stations throughout the entire museum where you and the kids can learn more about the animals and the lives they lead.


There are Discovery Centers where you can interact with animals.  Our favorite was the Chesapeake Bay Touch Tank.


The Coastal Plain Aviary will allow you to get up close and personal with more than 16 species of birds native to the area.



The Outdoor Boardwalk is a wonderful walk and along the way you will see beavers, bald eagles, bobcats, wild turkeys and more.  This was one of our favorite parts!


There is also a Planetarium, a Butterfly Garden and an observatory.

The Virginia Living Museum is located at 524 J. Clyde Morris Blvd., Newport News, VA 23601.

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Newport News Family Vacation

Sleepy Hole – Suffolk, Virginia


Some of my fondest memories of traveling with my children are from when we came across a park or a large patch of grass where they could run around and just be exactly who they are…kids. No one telling them to keep their hands to themselves. No one telling them to use their inside voices. Some of my favorite memories: running through the grass and gravel walks at Schloss Hellbrun in Salzburg; Big S learning to crawl in the ruins at Trier, Germany; sliding through the snow and ice in the Olympic ski jump area in Garmisch, Germany; skipping around the giant cow at the Braselton Mayfield Dairy.


When we were in Suffolk, Virginia during the month of February, we were trapped in the house for a few days by sleet and snow. Because the area doesn’t get much snow as a general rule, everything pretty much shut down. Once the weather cleared, we went exploring and found a park that my sister often talked about.


Sleepy Hole is a gem! We ran around for hours until our noses were pink and we could barely feel our fingers and toes.  We explored the nature trails, played on the park and ran around until we were laughing so hard we couldn’t stand any longer.   Afterwards, we went home and made hot chocolate.  We collapsed in exhaustion and giggled about how much fun we had.




How can you not smile when you see joy like this?


For an added Friday photo, I had to share this picture.  Little S had the worst static electricity the entire time we were in Virginia.  Her hair was always standing on end!  It was hilarious!


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Suffolk Family Vacation